DRIVING WITHOUT A LICENSE / DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED OR REVOKED LICENSE

If you received a citation for driving without a license, or driving on a suspended or revoked license,   then you or your attorney (if you hire one) must go to court on the scheduled appearance date.

Often times, people feel that an attorney is not necessary for receiving a citation for driving without a license, or driving on a suspended or revoked license. However, there are many consequences if found guilty of one of the above offenses, from probation, possible jail time, fines, possible impounding of your vehicle, a criminal record, rise in insurance premiums, and can affect your driving record as well.

DRIVING WITHOUT A LICENSE

Section 12500 of the California Vehicle Code, prohibits people from driving without a valid driver’s license.  California Vehicle Code § 12500(a) states, “A person may not drive a motor vehicle upon a highway, unless the person then holds a valid driver’s license issued under this code, except those persons who are expressly exempted under this code.”

Although a violation of this vehicle code may seem relatively minor, it is still a misdemeanor that carries up to six months in jail, informal probation up to three years, fines, possible 30 day impound of your vehicle, and a criminal record.

In California, you need a social security number or other federal tax payer identification number before the California DMV will issue you a driver’s license. As a result, many immigrants have obtained out of state driver’s licenses in order to drive in California. However, New California Residents MUST apply for a California driver’s license within ten days of residency. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/ca_dl.htm

DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED OR REVOKED LICENSE

California has several vehicle codes that punish an individual for driving on a suspended or revoked license (14601, 14601.1, 14601.2, 14601.3, and 14601.5). The actual penalty an individual will face will depend on the seriousness of the underlying offense that lead to their license suspension in the first place.

Diving on a revoked or suspended license is a more serious offense than driving without a license, and the penalties associated with it are more severe as well. At the same time, driving on a suspended license is more difficult for the prosecution to prove in that they must prove that you had “knowledge” that your license was suspended or revoked.

DEFENSES TO DRIVING WITHOUT A LICENSE, OR SUSPENDED OR REVOKED LICENSE

The best defense to driving without a license, or driving on a suspended or revoked license is in fact actually having your license. If you can prove you were a licensed driver at the time of the citation, this will be your best defense to the above charge(s).

If you were driving without a license, or driving on a suspended or revoked license, and you qualify to get your license in the near future, an attorney can strategically postpone your court case to a future time so you may obtain your license. By doing so, a qualified attorney can try to reduce your initial charges and prevent jail time if any.

A qualified attorney may even be able to reduce your misdemeanor offense into an infraction depending on the nature of the charge and situation.

Whether you are being charge in Los Angeles, or Orange County such as in Fullerton, for driving without a license, or driving on a suspended or revoked license, contact the Law Office of Jimmy Cha, and receive a free consultation today.